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Monday, May 25, 2020 1 comment

To disc, perchance to golf

I was tempted to file this one as pandemic-related, but it was more of a “last straw” thing than a completely isolation-related incident.

Disc golfing has been around for a while. I remember going to a park in Grand Rapids, with Other Brother, when we were either nearly done with high school or just starting college (so, 1977, give or take a year or two). Back then, everyone called it “Frisbee golf” and played with backyard discs. The goals were usually posts that you tried to hit with your disc.

Portable goal
I enjoyed it, but college, a move to Planet Georgia, and doing other things caused me to lose touch with the sport. It was only after I went to see The Boy in Manitowoc that I started to reconnect. One of the parks has a disc golf course, and he had taken it up. We got me a disc (there was a shop near the park that sold a variety) and had a blast. By then, of course, the official goals (or holes) were now baskets with vertical chains, like in the pic here. Except, of course, actual courses have their goals sunk into the ground to prevent mischief.

The vagaries of life kept me from taking it up much, partly because I didn’t know of any nearby courses. But when The Boy returned to Planet Georgia, he quickly found two courses 15 and 25 miles away. I bought a “starter pack,” four discs with varying flight characteristics and a carry bag, and I added my Manitowoc disk to the collection. When The Boy took his longest journey, Mason (who also likes to disc golf) and I got his bag. Mason has mostly taken it over, but I picked out one or two to round out my set.

Backyard goal
Now, with parks closed (or if they aren’t, it’s still iffy to go), I decided it was time to work with what I have—a large-ish yard with lots of obstacles—and ordered a pair of goals. I put them at opposite corners of the house, and chose some tee-off spots. I have a four-hole course: the first two counter-clockwise around the house, the second two clockwise.

The course, given the limited space I have to work with, rewards accuracy much more than raw power. Tee shots require threading a needle between trees, bushes, and the house. I’m getting noticeably better.

Going online, I’ve also learned a little about flight characteristics, and what to expect from a disc when you throw it. That has improved my game as well. Now I can step outside at lunch and throw two or four holes, depending on time constraints, and then play a little more once I’m done for the day.

Weather permitting, of course. It has been raining a lot in the last couple of months.


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